Attract Butterflies with 7 Purple Perennial Flowers
Butterflies love the sweet nectar of purple perennials that compliment any perennial garden. These purple perennials are a must-have when it comes to attracting butterflies to your garden.
TIP: Our expert gardening advisor, Susan Patterson adds, "Always plant your butterfly garden in full sun, and remember to provide a fresh source of water for the butterflies. Add a layer of mulch to your perennial flowerbed to help with water retention. Cut perennials in the fall and cover with a light layer of mulch for winter protection."
Purple Aster - the purple aster provides a wonderful buffet for many varieties of butterflies. They have a long blooming season, from mid-spring to early fall. They thrive in sun or partial/light shade and are drought tolerant, though they need to be watered regularly. Purple Asters grow from 6 inches up to 18 inches, depending on the variety, and are heartily grown in zones 5a through 10b.
Italian Aster - Commonly known as violet queen, this is not only beautiful, but well-loved by butterflies. Blooming late summer to early winter, they too have a long blooming season and are hearty in zones 5a through 8b. The violet queen loves either full sun or sun/partial shade and grows from 24 inches to 36 inches—perfect for adding height to the middle or back of your butterfly garden.
Autumn Joy - One of several variations of the stonecrop, this grows into a striking purple bloom from late summer to early fall. Autumn joy is wonderfully maintenance free and drought tolerant, and it grows and multiplies rapidly in full sun. Growing from 18 inches to 24 inches, the autumn joy is hearty in zones 3a through 9b, giving it awesome butterfly attraction in many climates.
Blazing Star - This has many popular variations. The round headed blazing star develops round mum-like blooms in a brilliant purple hue. This variation grows between 4 feet and 6 feet tall, making it wonderful for vase clippings. It blooms from late summer to early fall, prefers sun/partial shade, and needs to be watered regularly. Wonderful for growing as a background for your butterfly garden or as a stand alone plant, the round headed blazing star is hearty in zones 4a through 9b.
Joe-Pye Weed - Another large growing purple perennial, joe-pie weed is gaining in popularity and hearty in the back of your butterfly garden. It prefers sun to partial shade and will bloom from mid- summer to early fall. This sweet smelling purple perennial needs constantly moist soil and will grow between 4 feet to 6 feet tall in zones 3a through 8b.
Purple Cornflower - a native prairie flower of the U.S., this is a butterfly lover's dream. Extremely low-maintenance and hearty in zones 3a through 9b, this fragrant purple perennial will produce beautiful blooms from mid-summer to mid-fall. Thriving in full sun, the purple cornflower will grow to be 18 inches to 24 inches tall.
Purple Hyssop - Known as the purple giant hyssop or lavender hyssop, this is a perennial herb. Producing tall purple spiky blooms, it can grow anywhere from 24 inches to 6 feet tall. This fun purple giant may be endangered in some places, so beware of picking them in the wild. The Purple Hyssop needs moist (but not saturated) soil and sun to partial/light shade. The fragrant plant will bloom from late summer to mid-fall in zones 4a-6b.
TIP: Susan advises, "Always choose plants that will thrive in your growing region. Follow the directions for planting and care for best results."